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During the September 21 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named nationally syndicated radio show host Rush Limbaugh the "runner-up" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for, as Media Matters for America documented, smearing Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) with references to Osama bin Laden. Limbaugh cited a bin Laden tape in which bin Laden "says he is going to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and [President Pervez] Musharraf, which, ladies and gentlemen, puts you on the same page with a Democrat presidential candidate -- that would be Barack 'Uss-Obama.' "
As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented (here, here, and here), Obama never said he would "attack Pakistan," or "declare war on Pakistan and Musharraf." In an August 1 speech, Obama stated that "[i]f we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," but he did not elaborate on the nature of this action.
Limbaugh frequently appears on Olbermann's "Worst Person" list, as Media Matters has noted (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). On August 2, Olbermann awarded Limbaugh the "bronze" for claiming that Democrats have "aligned themselves with the enemy. ... The enemy kills more soldiers, their spokesmen here in America are the Democrats. When we kill more of the enemy, the Democrats are silent and they say nothing. But when you have reports of, you know, another IED or a picture of a car on fire, then the Democrats assume the role of media PR spokespeople for Al Qaeda.' "
Additionally, Olbermann named CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck the "Worst Person" for saying that it is "unbelievabl[ly] racist" to claim Obama "is acting white," despite having made similar claims himself. Olbermann said Beck "blasted Jesse Jackson for saying, 'Barack Obama is acting white, which is an unbelievable racist statement. I mean, if I said, I don't know, I don't think I could vote for that Rudy Giuliani because he was acting a little black, he would be picketing in front of my building tonight.' " But on the February 12 edition of his radio show, Beck claimed that Obama "is very white in many ways." Media Matters documented Beck's February 12 commentary, and the blog Think Progress noted Beck's conflicting statements.
From the September 21 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: The runner-up, comedian Rush Limbaugh, out there again deliberately trying to link Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama, saying there's another bin Laden tape in which he says, quote, "He's going to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and Musharraf, which, ladies and gentlemen, puts him on the same page with a Democrat presidential candidate -- that would be Barack 'Uss-Obama.' " Actually, Senator Obama said that he'd make military aid to Pakistan conditional, which is the same thing as invading Pakistan if you've had more anesthetics and painkillers than they gave me for my appendectomy -- which, in comedian's case, is true.
But our winner: CNN's Glenn Beck, now in a desperate battle of words with CNN's Glenn Beck. He has now blasted Jesse Jackson for saying, quote, "Barack Obama is acting white, which is an unbelievable racist statement. I mean, if I said, I don't know, I don't think I could vote for that Rudy Giuliani because he was acting a little black, he'd be picketing in front of my building tonight." So what does Mr. Beck have to say about this remark? Quote: "I thought to myself, he" -- Obama -- "is very white in many ways. He is. He's very, very white," unquote. Who said that? Glenn Beck, on the radio February 12th this year. To paraphrase that old, mean joke, you're never alone with a -- Glenn Beck, today's "Worst Person in the World"!